Plaza Roberto Maestas, Beloved Community

Architect: SMR Architects; 7 Directions Architects & Planners; Third Place Design Cooperative

Owner: El Centro de la Raza

Location: Seattle, Washington

Category Two: Creating Community Connection Award

Plaza Roberto Maestas is a landmark equitable transit-oriented development project in Seattle’s Beacon Hill neighborhood. The project incorporates the community’s vision into a new mixed-use development in a rapidly gentrifying neighborhood. Completed in September 2016, Plaza Roberto Maestas consists of two six-story buildings that flank an outdoor plaza, which opens onto a Festival Street adjacent to a light rail station. Through nearly eight years of planning with the community, El Centro de la Raza transformed a surfacing parking lot into a multicultural hub for the neighborhood that incorporates 112 units of affordable housing, local small business retail and office, community space, and a bilingual child development center.

Plaza Roberto Maestas directly addresses the urgent need for affordable housing and economic opportunity in the Beacon Hill neighborhood and is a model for community-inspired transit-oriented development.

Additional information

Development consultant: Beacon Development Group

Engineer (acoustic): The Greenbusch Group

Engineer (audiovisual): The Greenbusch Group

Engineer (civil): Coterra Engineering, PLLC

Engineer (electrical): Glumac; Advanced Electrical Services,  Inc.

Engineer (mechanical/plumbing): Glumac; Sider & Byers Associates

Engineer (structural): Swenson Say Faget Structural Engineering

General contractor: Walsh Construction Company

Interior design: Third Place Design Cooperative

Landscape architect: The West Studio  


Katherine Williams, AIA, (Chair) Fifth Generation Holdings, Falls Church, Virginia

Danielle Arigoni, US Department of Housing and Urban Development, Washington, DC

Joe Digrado, AIA, Danielian Associates, Irvine, California

Blake Held, AIA, Blake H. Held Architect, PLLC, Honeoye Falls, New York

Rachelle Levitt, US Department of Housing and Urban Development, Washington, DC

Charles Mudede, The Stranger (Journalist), Seattle, Washington

David Perkes, AIA, Mississippi State University GCCDS, Biloxi, Mississippi

Image credits

Plaza Roberto Maestas1

William Wright Photography